[b-hebrew] What does H add?
pzellmer at sc.rr.com
Thu Jan 6 07:09:06 EST 2011
In nouns, most of the time, the feminized form (the one ending in -H) is a
more generic term for the concept. Take, for example, )KL and )KLH. The
first is the normal word for food, the second is anything considered edible.
Or )X and )XWH: brother and brotherhood. But you are right, the pairs are
generally close, almost undistinguishable synonyms. To our western minds,
I'm not sure how to describe a more generic "light".
In verbs, you will find the H appended to imperatives. This is a more
emphatic form of the command. And it is found throughout the Tanach,
regardless of the relative age of the writing.
Hope this helps,
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Pere Porta
Sent: Thursday, January 06, 2011 12:12 AM
To: Isaac Fried
Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org; Nir cohen - Prof. Mat.
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] What does H add?
We find here and there in the biblical text some words that appear in two
versions: without H and with H.
In Gn 1:3 we have )WR, light; in Est 8:16 we have )WRFH, light.
In 2Sa 2:22 we have SWR, turn aside! while in Rt 4:1 we have SWRFH, same
They appear as being quite and mere synonyms.
My questions are:
1. Are they really synonyms? Does the suffix H introduce some shade into the
meaning of the word that has H compared with the word that lacks H?
2. Do you know of other similar pairs, either nouns or verbs?
3. Would there be a good reason for these variants? I mean: maybe some
evolution of the language (older writings like Genesis versus newer writings
like Esther or 2Samuel versus Ruth) would explain this difference?
What do you think about this?
(Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain)
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